There’s a rapidly emerging niche within the tablet space which is targeting highly price sensitive consumers with bargain basement slates. So far, subsidised models from leading retailers have led the way. First up were the Kindle derivatives offered by Amazon, and then the leading supermarkets, spearheaded by the Tesco Hudl, got involved. Now this trend has been accelerated by an Indian company called Datawind, who encouraged by strong sales in their home market, are now targeting the launch of their product in the UK.
The Datawind 7-inch UbiSlate tablet is set to cost just £29.99, which will dramatically gazump the Hudl and Kindle Fire HD models. Powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, the UbiSlate delivers 512GB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It’s an Android 4.0 powered device.
If you require mobile connectivity, the 7C model delivers 2G for £69.99 and the 3G7 models deliver 3G for £129. The latter runs off Android 4.1 and includes an upgraded 2 MP rear facing camera. If you add a SIM card to either then you can use the tablet as an auxiliary phone, with both allowing you basic web browsing free of charge for the first year.
So who will the Datawind appeal to? It’s crazily cheap, so bargain seekers are an obvious candidate but the company also anticipate getting some success in classrooms and universities. In these environments, the devices simple but ample specification will suffice and the price point makes it affordable for all. Research indicates that most consumers have relatively modest uses for their tablets; with web browsing, movie watching and music listening chief amongst the core usages.
The company are also acutely aware that 29% of households still don’t own a computer and 36% have no internet access. For UbiSlate’s CEO Sunseet Singh Tuli, delivering technology that enables home computing and web browsing is a core aim, putting an end to their exclusion from “benefitting from the digital revolution”. As 2013 prepares to become 2014, t is easy to forget that so many still live without the internet.
Such is the success of the company in India, where they shipped 10,000 tablets per day during Q1 2012, they have actually outstripped Apple’s sales. Whether this can be replicated in the UK is yet to be seen.
The tablet is available on the company’s website.